Monday, November 28, 2005

Swedish Capital Sees Less Silver Pollution Thanks to Digital Photos

November 25, 2005 — By Associated Press

STOCKHOLM, Sweden — The growing use of digital photography has helped clean the water in the Swedish capital by reducing emissions of silver into the sewage systems from photo labs, experts said Thursday.

Tests have shown that silver levels have dropped by more than half in five years in the waters of the Stockholm archipelago.

"I am convinced that this is primarily thanks to the digital technology. There is less developing of conventional silver-halide film," said Ragnar Lagerkvist of the Stockholm Water authority.

He said most of the silver emissions used to come from photo labs, as well as X-ray plates from dentists and hospitals.

Helena Parkman of the Swedish Environmental Board said silver ions can be more toxic to water organisms than mercury. Silver in its metallic form is far less toxic.

At least 90 percent of all cameras sold in Sweden today are digital, camera shop owner Roland Persheden said.

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